[Python-Dev] Consenting adults considered beneficial [was: How far to go with user-friendliness]

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Wed Jul 15 05:00:29 CEST 2015

Robert Collins writes:

 > What I am doing is rejecting the argument that because we can't fix
 > every mis-use users might make, we therefore should not fix the cases
 > where we can fix it.

This involves a value judgment, every time a new fix is proposed, as
to whether it's a mis-use that deserves fixing or a permitted-to-
consenting-adults behavior.  IMO, it's a bad idea to institutionalize
that kind of bikeshedding, especially when such "fixes" involve
overriding user choices that are permitted everywhere else.

Arbitrary choices that *some* users want to be protected from ("stop
me before I 'assret' again!") belong in linters, not in Python or the

To be frank, I think you have the Pythonic approach exactly backwards
here (though I am no authority on Pythonicity).  ISTM that in general
Python takes the attitude that if a particular "mis-use" seems to be
common, then we should figure out what it is about Python that
encourages that "mistake", or makes an otherwise arbitrary user choice
into a "mistake", and fix Python -- not restrict users.

Of course that's not always possible, but that's the first choice

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